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Three Ways Constructability Review Can Improve Your Building Project

What Is Constructability Review?

The construction process starts with an Architect designing plans based on the requested scope from the building owner mixed with regulations mandated by the government and the creative expertise of the designer. The Architect is responsible for knowing the performance, quality, longevity and size of limitless amounts of construction materials/product options and their real world application even though they aren’t responsible for the physical installation or erection of these materials. While they do know a lot about a lot of materials and have vast experiences from which to draw, a second set of eyes on the drawings by those who do the erection and installation have been known to save considerable time and more importantly money for building owners. This collaboration is known as constructability review.

When a building owner chooses Design/Build or Construction Management delivery systems for their project, the Architect and Contractor are selected for the team before there are plans and are in collaborative roles working toward the same goal established by their client. They participate in many of the same meetings, so everyone knows what the client is trying to accomplish. At various stages of the architectural plan development, the construction team has an opportunity to review and propose alternatives. They have a different perspective than the architect that is beneficial. In turn, the collaboration can also teach the construction team new things from the Architect’s background to make the project go faster and be more cost efficient. When they work together, it only makes the project better for the owner.

Three Ways Constructability Review Improves Your Building Project:

  1. Diminishes arguments between the architect and contractor during construction
  2. Reduces time trying to figure out who is responsible for the project changes or how to fix the errors
  3. Minimizes the need for unexpected change orders to the client

How Are Plans Reviewed?

Wolgast includes constructability review in their Design/Build and Construction Management (CM) delivery systems. For Design/Build, the Architect and Contractor are the single-source for the design and the construction phases under the same contract, so they collaborate throughout and take full responsibility for the entire project. With CM projects, the owner forges a three-way team of Owner – Architect – CM to plan and oversee construction. The Architect and CM help steer the Owner to make educated decisions about their building. As part of the design phase schedule, the CM reviews the plans at varying levels of development to monitor constructability and that the team is keeping within budget.

Alternatively, in a hard bid scenario, the plans are complete before the general contractor is introduced to the project. The contractor doesn’t get involved until it’s time for the bidding or estimating to be done. At this point the owner can only spend money. Saving money mostly only happens by reducing the scope, which takes more design time and delays--still without input from the contractor. They will be included when it’s time to rebid. Any issues during construction can cause delays and someone to pay for them before a project can be considered complete.

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